Monday, February 15, 2010

One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School

Before I knew "for sure" that I was going to law school this fall, I started an ambitious and stupid project. I took some time off from literature after finishing my degree, having done so much in-depth and frantic reading that I was sick of the sight of any book. Phonebooks, technical manuals, photo albums. If it was book shaped I couldn't look at it, I was so disgusted. Now that I've recovered, I am ready to get back into reading. I chose an arbitrary number (50) and decided to try and read that many books before the end of 2010. I didn't do the math. I didn't realize this meant over a book a week. I also didn't think about the fact that I would be enduring the most difficult segment of a law degree during this time period; the first semester of the first year. So here we are 7 weeks in and I just started my 4th book. I'm a bit behind and I don't see how I can possibly meet my goal. But, right up until the first day of school I am going to try and then admit defeat then.

So book number 3 was on the recommended summer reading list from Willamette University, One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School. Although it was published some 30 years ago, and takes place at Harvard, it is still considered very relevant in capturing what it is like to be a 1L. The story was all at once engaging, fascinating, captivating, and infuriating.

I felt pretty good when the author would mention a topic and I would know what he is talking about, given my limited undergrad experiences, but he succeeded in totally freaking me out. Now State Home U is different than a lot of law schools. The class sizes are quite small (around 30) and the faculty to student ratio is 8 to 1. This is really nice, as one of the main problems encountered by Scott Turow in the book is the 140 student classes he had to deal with, completely cutting him off from his professors unless he was willing to stampede with the rest of the cattle.

Overall, a very interesting book and worth reading if not to just give one an idea of the kind of study schedule they ought to be prepared for.

Next I'm going to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.


  1. 1L: It's like a small, rural high school, with loads of alcohol, our own apartments, and student loans.

    It's like Jersey Shore meets umm....yeah...something?

  2. 1L is more like junior high school. It is sooo cliquey.

    Just added a link to you on jodifur.